2012 NCAA Tournament Picks: Purdue Boilermakers vs Kansas Jayhawks

2012 NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Third Round
#10 Purdue Boilermakers vs #2 Kansas Jayhawks
CenturyLink Center – Omaha, Nebraska
Sunday, March 18, 2012, 8:40 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: Kansas -8
Current Line: Kansas -8
Opening Total: 140 1/2
Current Total: 142
Opening Money Line: Kansas -385 / Purdue +325
Current Money Line: Kansas -385 / Purdue +325

Kansas will take on Purdue Sunday in Omaha in the Midwest region third round. Kansas is an 8 point favorite.

The 22-12 Purdue Boilermakers of the Big Ten pulled off a mild upset Friday when they beat Midwest #7 St. Mary’s 72-69. The Boilermakers finished 6th in the Big Ten and lost to Ohio St in the Big Ten quarterfinals. Purdue is coached by Matt Painter.

Purdue will now take on #2 seed Kansas in the third round. The winner will play either North Carolina St or Georgetown in the regional semifinals in St. Louis next Friday. The 28-6 Jayhawks, coached by Bill Self, won the Big 12 regular season title, but were upset by Baylor in the Big 12 semifinals. It snapped a 9 game winning streak for Kansas and likely cost them a number one seed. Of the four number 2 seeds, many thought Kansas was the most vulnerable to a potential upset, as they drew a tough Detroit team. However, Kansas rolled to a 65-50 win. Ironically, two other #2 seeds lost on Friday. Missouri lost 86-84 to Norfolk St, and Lehigh upset Duke 75-70. Self made sure his players were aware of both upsets in his pre-game speech to the team to make sure Kansas didn’t overlook Detroit.

The Kansas-Purdue series is tied at 2-2. They haven’t played since the 1997 NCAA Tournament when Kansas beat Purdue in the second round. The teams also met in the 1994 NCAA Tournament when Purdue beat Kansas in the Sweet 16.

Purdue has wins over Iona, Temple, Western Michigan, Miami, Iowa twice, Illinois twice, Minnesota, Northwestern twice, Nebraska twice, Michigan, and Penn St. The Boilermakers have losses to Alabama, Xavier, Butler, Penn St, Wisconsin, Michigan St twice, Michigan, Indiana twice, and Ohio St twice.

The Jayhawks have losses to Kentucky, Duke, Davidson, Iowa St, and Missouri. Kansas has non-conference wins over Georgetown, UCLA, South Florida, Long Beach St, Ohio St, and USC. The Jayhawks swept every team in the Big 12 except Missouri and Iowa St.

Purdue is outscoring opponents 72-66 this season. The Boilermakers shoot 44.1% from the field, including 37.7% from 3 point range. Purdue makes 65.2% of their free throws. The Boilermakers average 33 rebounds a game, and have a rebounding margin of -0.6. Purdue averages 13.7 assists, 8.7 turnovers, 6.5 steals, and 3.2 blocks a game. Boilermaker opponents are shooting 44.6% from the field including 35.6% from 3 point range. Purdue forces 12.8 turnovers a game.

Purdue forward Robbie Hummel averages 16.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.2 blocks a game. He leads the team in scoring, rebounds, and blocks and is shooting 37.1% from 3 point range. Lewis Jackson averages 10.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists to lead the team, and 1.3 steals a game to lead the team. Ryne Smith averages 9.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.1 assists. Smith shoots 43.8% from 3 point range. Terone Johnson averages 8.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1 steal a game.  Kelsey Barlow averages 8.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.2 steals a game. D.J. Byrd averages 8.9 points and 2.3 rebounds a game. He is suspended indefinitely.

Kansas is outscoring opponents 75-62 this season. The Jayhawks are shooting 48.5% from the field, including 35.8% from the three point line. Kansas is #10 nationally in field goal percentage. Kansas makes 69.6% of their free throws. Kansas averages 36.9 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of +5.9. The Jayhawks average 15.6 assists, 13.2 turnovers, 7.4 steals, and 5.6 blocks a game. Kansas opponents are shooting 38.3% from the field including 34.7% from 3 point range. Kansas is #7 nationally in opponent’s field goal percentage. The Jayhawks force 14 turnovers a game.

Kansas Forward Thomas Robinson averages 18 points, 11.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, along with 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks a game. He leads the Jayhawks in scoring and rebounding. Robinson is second in the country in rebounding and is a Naismith Award finalist. Tyshawn Taylor averages 17.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists to lead the team, and 1.2 steals a game. He is shooting 43.1% from 3 point range. He is probable Sunday with leg cramps. Jeff Withey averages 9.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks a game to lead the team. Elijah Johnson averages 8.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.5 steals a game to lead the team.  Travis Releford averages 8.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.2 steals a game.  Guard Ben McLemore and forward Jamari Taylor are both ineligible this season.

Kansas is 17-15-1 ATS and the total is 12-19-2 this season. Purdue is 17-14 ATS and 19-12 this season. The Boilermakers are 8-3 ATS overall, 5-2 in non-conference games, 3-7 after a straight up win, 7-20-1 as an underdog of 7-12.5 points, and 4-12 after a cover. The Jayhawks are 1-4 ATS as a favorite of 7-12.5 points, 2-10 against Big Ten games, and 1-6-1 after a cover.

Kansas has lost to teams such as Virginia Commonwealth, Northern Iowa, Bucknell, and Bradley recently in the NCAA tournament. The Jayhawks are one of the most talented and deepest teams in the country. They should be able to win this game with ease, but this is the type of game in which Kansas sometimes stubs their toes. I like Kansas to win but it will be a lot closer than some people think.

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